What's On

Friday 6 to Sunday 8 March,

Ennis Book Club Festival 2015

The Ennis Book Club Festival is a wonderful social and literary gathering bringing together book club members and readers from all over Ireland and beyond. The festival includes author readings, discussions, workshops and walking tours through the narrow streets and lanes of Ennis. See www.ennisbookclubfestival.com for further information and to view the programme.

FRIDAY 6th MARCH

  • Billy O'Callaghan asks 'What makes Great Writing Great?'
    Temple Gate Hotel, 3.30pm - 4pm, Free event
     
  • A reading by Ying Tai Chang
    Temple Gate Hotel, 4pm - 4.30pm, Free event
     
  • Launch of Frank Golden thriller, The Night Game
    Temple Gate Hotel, 4.45pm, Free event


SATURDAY 7th MARCH

  • John Grenham asks 'Whatever happened to family history?'
    Old Ground Hotel, 11.30am - 1pm,  €10/€8 conc.
     
  • Literary Lunch in the company of three of Ireland's favourite poets, Peter Fallon, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Michael Coady
    Temple Gate Hotel, 1.15pm - 2.45pm, €15
     
  • Ones to Watch - Evelyn O'Rourke in conversation with Colin Barrett, Sara Baume and Nuala Ní Chonchúir
    glór, 3pm, €12/€10 conc.
     
  • Michael Smith reads and discusses Shackleton – By Endurance We Conquer
    Old Ground Hotel, 3pm - 4.15pm, €12/€10 conc.
     
  • Clare Youth Theatre present Waiting for Godot
    glór, 4pm - 4.30pm, €10/€8 conc.
  • Niall Williams and Mary Costello read and discuss their work
    glór, 4.30pm - 5.30pm, €12/€10 conc.
     
  • Blues & Books - browse an eclectic array of new and second-hand books accompanied by live music by Paulo Cerato and Trevor Hansbury.
    Tea & coffee served
    Scéal Eile Books, 6pm 'til late, Free event
     
  • It's A Crime: Paul Carson and Val McDermid - readings and interview with Seán Rocks, Presenter of RTÉ Radio 1’s Arena
    glór, 8pm, €18/€15 conc.
     
  • Festival Club
    Old Ground Hotel, 10.30pm, Free event


SUNDAY 8th MARCH

  • Sunday Symposium: Politics and Pathology – life inside the political tent with former government minister and PD leader Des O'Malley, DCU’s Dr Gary Murphy, RTÉ's Katie Hannon and The Examiner's Mick Clifford chaired by Caimin Jones
    glór, 10am, €15
     
  • Clare Voices - Readings by The Poetry Collective and Inis Creative Writer's Group
    Old Ground Hotel, 12.15pm, Free event
     
  • Walking tour of Ennis with Jane O'Brien
    glór, 12.15pm, €8
     
  • The Daughterhood - Literary Lunch
    Old Ground Hotel, 1.15pm, €18
     
  • Scéal Eile Books together with award-winning bilingual poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa host a reading by the 10 Clare poets (aged 12-15 years) who were recently shortlisted in the Sceal Eile Books' Comortas Filiochta.
    The event will be streamed live online.
    Scéal Eile Books, 3pm, Free event
Friday 6 March, 6.30pm, free of charge

Ennis Book Club Festival launch and exhibition opening

by RTÉ presenter and author, Evelyn O'Rourke

Evelyn O’Rourke is a broadcaster and journalist from Dublin.  After studying Drama and English at Trinity College, she joined RTÉ where she has presented and reported on a wide range of radio and tv programmes in both Irish and English.  Evelyn worked as Gerry Ryan’s reporter for eight years. She now works on Radio 1 as reporter and stand-in presenter of their daily arts programme, Arena. She also co-presented this year’s Irish Book Awards on RTÉ TV.  In 2014, Evelyn’s first book Dear Ross, detailing her treatment for breast cancer while pregnant with her second child, was published by Hachette Ireland.

Friday 6 March, 8pm, €16/€14 conc.

Catalpa - written and performed by Donal O’Kelly

as part of Ennis Book Club Festival 2015

A classic of modern Irish theatre, Catalpa is the story of the daring 1875 whaleship rescue of six Irish prisoners from Fremantle penal colony in Australia - all in a screenwriter’s head, the best movie never made! Catalpa is about heroes and visionaries, political intrigue and personal loyalty, with hot romance, mixed-up rebels and battles at sea. A subversive epic, a celebration of the power of live theatre.  Catalpa has toured the world to high acclaim, including New York, Chicago, Paris, Helsinki, Harare and Fringe First Edinburgh

“lyrical and passionate, satirical and very funny” Irish Times

“A soaring rip-roaring one-man adventure” 
Washington Post

An improbably beautiful show” Variety USA

Live music by Trevor Knight.

Saturday 7 March, 11.30am - 1pm, €12/€10 conc.

10 Books You Should Read with Joseph O’Connor and Evelyn O’Rourke

as part of Ennis Book Club Festival 2015

Joseph O’Connor was born in Dublin. He is the author of the novels Cowboys and Indians (short-listed for the Whitbread Prize), Desperadoes, The Salesman, Inishowen, Star of the Sea and Redemption Falls, as well as a number of bestselling works of non-fiction. He has also written film scripts and stage-plays including the award-winning Red Roses and Petrol. His novel Star of the Sea was an international bestseller, selling more than a million copies and being published in 38 languages. It won France’s Prix Millepages, Italy’s Premio Acerbi, the Irish Post Award for Fiction, the Neilsen Bookscan Golden Book Award, an American Library Association Award, the Hennessy / Sunday Tribune Hall of Fame Award, and the Prix Litteraire Zepter for European Novel of the Year. Ghost Light was published in June 2010 to rave reviews internationally and spent nine weeks as a number one Irish besteller. It was chosen as Dublin’s One City One Book novel for 2011. His latest novel is The Thrill of it All, published in May 2014 by Harvill Secker.

Evelyn O’Rourke is a broadcaster and journalist from Dublin.  After studying Drama and English at Trinity College, she joined RTÉ where she has presented and reported on a wide range of radio and tv programmes in both Irish and English. Evelyn worked as Gerry Ryan’s reporter for eight years. She now works on Radio 1 as reporter and stand-in presenter of their daily arts programme, Arena. She also co-presented this year’s Irish Book Awards on RTÉ TV. In 2014, Evelyn’s first book Dear Ross, detailing her treatment for breast cancer while pregnant with her second child, was published by Hachette Ireland.

Saturday 7 March at The Temple Gate Hotel, 1.15pm - 2.45pm, €15

Literary Lunch in the company of three of Ireland’s favourite poets

as part of Ennis Book Club Festival 2015

Enjoy a Literary Lunch in the company of three of Ireland's favourite poets - Peter Fallon, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Michael Coady.

Peter Fallon, is a prize-winning poet, and his books include The Georgics of Virgil (a PBS Recommended translation (Oxford World’s Classics), The Company of Horses and Strong, My Love (May 2014).
At the age of eighteen he founded The Gallery Press, Ireland’s leading literary publishing company, and he has edited and published five hundred books of poems and plays by the country's finest established and emerging authors.
A member of Aosdána, he held the Burns Chair at Boston College (2012-13). He lives in Loughcrew in County Meath where he farmed for many years.

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin was born in Cork City in 1942. She was educated in Cork and Oxford before spending her working life as an academic in Trinity College, Dublin where she is now a Fellow and  Professor of English (Emerita). Among prizes she has won are the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the O’Shaughnessy Award of the Irish-American Cultural Institute and the Griffin International Poetry Prize.
She is a member of Aosdána and is married to the poet Macdara Woods. 
Recent books include The Girl Who Married the Reindeer, Selected Poems  and The Sun-fish. The Boys of Bluehill was published in February 2015.

Michael Coady lives in the place of his birth, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary. His poetry and fiction have earned a number of literary prizes and distinctions, including the Patrick Kavanagh Award (1979) for poems in his first collection, Two for a Woman, Three for A Man (1980), and the O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award (2004).  Music and particularity of place are abiding elements in his work and his later collections explore an unusual integration of poetry, prose and illustration.
In 1998 he was elected to Aosdána, and in Spring 2005 held the Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies at Villanova University.  The Gallery Press has also published Oven Lane, a Poetry Ireland Choice, All Souls, One Another, Going by Water and a revised Oven Lane and Other Poems (2014).

Saturday 7 March, 3pm, €12/€10 conc.

Ones to Watch:Evelyn O’Rourke in conversation with Colin Barrett, Sara Baume and Nuala Ní Chonchúir

as part of Ennis Book Club Festival 2015

Evelyn O’Rourke is a broadcaster and journalist from Dublin.  After studying Drama and English at Trinity College, she joined RTÉ where she has presented and reported on a wide range of radio and tv programmes in both Irish and English.  Evelyn worked as Gerry Ryan’s reporter for eight years. She now works on Radio 1 as reporter and stand-in presenter of their daily arts programme, Arena. She also co-presented this year’s Irish Book Awards on RTÉ TV.  In 2014, Evelyn’s first book Dear Ross, detailing her treatment for breast cancer while pregnant with her second child, was published by Hachette Ireland.

Colin Barrett grew up in County Mayo. His debut collection of short stories, Young Skins, was originally published by the Stinging Fly Press in Ireland, and won the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize, The Guardian First Book Award, and the Rooney Prize for Literature. Colin's stories have been published in the Stinging Fly Magazine, Five Dials, A Public Space, and The New Yorker.

Sara Baume grew up in Co. Cork. She studied fine art at Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design before completing a Master’s in Creative Writing at Trinity College, Dublin. Her short fiction has been published in The Dublin Re- view, The Moth, The Penny Dreadful, The Stinging Fly and the Irish Independent as part of the Hennessy New Irish Writing series. In 2014 she won the prestigious Davy Byrnes Award – its previous winners were Anne Enright and Claire Kilroy Keegan – for her short story ‘Solesearcher1’. She lives in Cork with her two dogs.  In her stunning debut novel,Spill Simmer Falter Wither, she confirms the talent so emphatically acknowledged by the Davy Byrnes Award jury.

Nuala Ní Chonchúir is a novelist, short story writer and poet. Born in Dublin in 1970, she lives in East Galway. Her critically acclaimed second novel The Closet of Savage Mementos appeared April 2014 from New Island. Under the name Nuala O’Connor, Penguin USA, Penguin Canada and Sandstone (UK) will publish Nuala’s third novel, Miss Emily, about the poet Emily Dickins.

Saturday 7 March, 4pm - 4.30pm, €10/€8 conc.

Waiting For Godot - Clare Youth Theatre

as part of Ennis Book Club Festival 2015

With wit and bowler hats, Clare Youth Theatre brings you extracts from Waiting For Godot.

Two teenagers don suits and hats, and bring you the stark Beckettian atmosphere that comes with Vladimir and Estragon’s trials and tribulations. Clare Youth Theatre  present this iconic piece of theatre, using scenes that fit together to bring you a fresh insight into the relationship between these two tramps.

Saturday 7 March, 4.30pm - 5.30pm, €12/€10 conc.

Niall Williams and Mary Costello read and discuss their work

as part of Ennis Book Club Festival 2015

Niall Williams studied English and French Literature at University College Dublin and graduated with a MA in Modern American Literature. He moved to New York in 1980 where he married Christine Breen. In 1985 they moved to the cottage in west Clare that Chris's grandfather had left eighty years before to find his life in America.  In History of The Rain, set on the banks of the river Shannon, in Faha, County Clare, "where everyone is a long story", 19-year-old Ruth Swain is confined to bed with an unidentified, debilitating blood disorder. No longer able to participate in the activities of the community, Ruth becomes its omniscient recorder, although the bulk of the tale she recounts is that of her own convoluted family history. 

Mary Costello grew up in Galway and now lives in Dublin. Her collection of stories, The China Factory, was nominated for the 2012 Guardian first book award. Her first novel, Academy Street, won the 2014 Eason’s Novel of the Year award and was shortlisted for the Costa first novel prize.

Saturday 7 March, 8pm, €18/€15 conc.

It’s A Crime: Paul Carson and Val McDermid - readings and interview with Seán Rocks

as part of Ennis Book Club Festival 2015

Paul Carson is a doctor and novelist. He has published 15 books including seven health books, two children's books and six bestselling thrillers.  His first novel, Scalpel was published in 1997 by Wm Heinemann and became an immediate Irish Times bestseller, spending 17 weeks at number one and a total of 33 weeks in the top five.  Cold Steel followed a year later and in 2000 Final Duty hit the bookshelves. Both were Irish Times number one bestsellers. He’s had a number of Irish Times best sellers in the meantime including Ambush (2003) and Betrayal (2005). His most recent novel, Inquest (2013), which he describes as his most challenging creation as it took him into a dark side of medicine (the Coroner's Court) he'd never explored before (and doesn't wish to explore again!).

Award-winning crime writer Val McDermid is a Number One bestseller, translated into more than 30 languages, with over two million copies sold in the UK and over 11 million worldwide. She has written 27 bestselling crime novels; The Skeleton Road –her 28th – was published by Little, Brown on 11 September 2014.  In the same year she also published a retelling of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and an exploration of forensic science, Forensics: An Anatomy of Crime.  A regular broadcaster with BBC Radio, Val’s five-part Woman's Hour drama Village SOS was broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and in 2011 Val also presented BBC Radio 4 serial The Chalet School, in which she talked about how the series of books inspired her education and career.  In 2012 she presented Pick of the Week on BBC Radio 4 and has fronted several features for BBC Two’s The Culture Show.  In July 2014 Val was voted the winner of the ‘Million for a Morgue’ campaign and Dundee University has since christened its new mortuary in her honour.

Seán Rocks presents ARENA, RTÉ Radio 1’s flagship arts, popular culture and entertainment programme. He has interviewed many major writers, actors, musicians and artists including Martin Sheen, Danny De Vito, Janis Ian, John Banville, Brendan Gleeson, Roddy Doyle, Steve Reich and Marina Carr.  Seán has been working with RTÉ Radio since 2000 and previously guest-presented The Arts Show and Spirit Moves (RTE’s ethical debate programme) and Rattlebag. He has also produced, written and presented several series for Radio 1. He previously worked with RTÉ Lyric Fm as presenter on several strand programmes including The Lyric Breakfast, Lunchtime Choice, The Lyric Pitch and CultureFile.  He regularly hosts concerts and events at major venues around the country (NCH, Áras an Uachtarán, Cork City Hall, University of Limerick) and was widely praised for his role as MC at the State Banquet in Dublin Castle during the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland in 2011.  Prior to broadcasting he worked extensively as an actor both at home and abroad.

Sunday 8 March, 10am, €15

Sunday Symposium: Politics and Pathology – life inside the political tent

as part of Ennis Book Club Festival 2015

With former government minister and PD leader Des O'Malley, DCU’s Dr Gary Murphy, RTE's Katie Hannon and The Examiner's Mick Clifford.
Chaired by Caimin Jones.

Des O’Malley’s career coincided with some of the most dramatic events in Irish political life. In his critically acclaimed memoir, Conduct Unbecoming, he offers fresh insights into the events that have shaped Ireland’s past and present – the Arms Crisis, the Troubles, the Haughey years, the Beef Tribunal and the foundation of the Progressive Democrats.  Exiting politics in 2002, O’Malley left an indelible mark on Irish public life. Remembered for his strongly held views, he has never been afraid to speak uncomfortable truths or ask awkward questions and similarly in this, his long awaited memoir, he does not hold back.

Gary Murphy is Professor of Politics at Dublin City University where he has worked for the past two decades. He is the author of five books including In Search of the Promised Land: the Politics of Post War Ireland. (Mercier Press, 2009) and The Lemass Era: Politics and Society in the Ireland of Sean Lemass (UCD Press, 2005). His latest book, a major reinterpretation of modern Ireland entitled The Politics of Triumph and Despair: Ireland since 1987 will be published by Manchester University Press later this year. He has begun work on a major biography of Charles J. Haughey. Originally from Cork city he is a prominent contributor to political debates in the print and broadcast media.

Katie Hannon is Prime Time’s Political Correspondent, having previously been Political Correspondent of the Evening Herald and the Irish Examiner and Political Editor of the Irish Mail on Sunday. She is the author of ‘The Naked Politician’, an account of the reality of life in the trenches of Irish politics, published in 2004. Since joining Prime Time as a reporter in 2004 she has covered a wide variety of issues including major investigations into the waste industry, banking, failures in child protection and vaccine trials in children’s homes. She has won the Irish Goods Council Young Journalist of the Year, the John Healy National Print Award as well as the ‘Story of the Year’ in the 2012 GSK Medical Media Awards.

Michael Clifford is the Special Correspondent of the Irish Examiner, where he also writes a weekly column. He has been working in journalism for over twenty years during which time he has covered politics, entertainment, legal and criminal justice matters.  He is the author of three non-fiction books, and two crime novels. He is also a regular contributor to current affairs radio and TV programmes.

Sunday 8 March at The Old Ground Hotel, 1.15pm, €18

Literary Lunch: The Daughterhood

as part of Ennis Book Club Festival 2015

Natasha Fennell and Róisín Ingle share the funny, poignant and occasionally heart-breaking story of The Daughterhood.

When Natasha Fennell’s mother was diagnosed with a progressive illness, her life came to a standstill. She wondered how she would cope when her mother was gone and whether she had been a good enough daughter.

After a call out to daughters in Róisín Ingle’s weekly Irish Times column, Natasha and Róisín quickly learned that other daughters had similar fears and had never spoken about them before. An impromptu, informal self-help club, The Daughterhood, was formed – albeit one that involved good food and wine – as once a month a group of women would come together to help each other navigate the most important and sometimes trickiest relationship of our lives.

Natasha is a Director at Stillwater Communications and a regular reviewer and contributor on RTE Radio 1’s flagship discussion programmes.

Róisín is Daily Features Editor and Broadcaster at The Irish Times. She writes a column in the paper’s Magazine every Saturday.

Thursday 7 May, 2pm, free of charge

Hats Off To Clare

presented by Clare Arts Office as part of Bealtaine Festival

This one man show performed by Gerard Howard and written and directed by Paul Brennan is based on a hilarious and surreal romp through time with some of Clare’s most famous characters – real and fictional – and how they might have interacted had they ever met.  Pile them all into the West Clare Railway and see where they end up!  What will Mr de Valera make of Percy French?  And how will the famous clown Johnny Patterson and submarine inventor John Phillip Holland get on?

Friday 22 May, 8pm, €15

Pipers Union in concert, with Caitlín Nic Gabhann & Ciarán Ó Maonaigh

as part of Fleadh Nua 2015

Pipers Union, comprising David Power, Ciarán Somers and their old friend Dónal Clancy, is a tight-knit trio, incorporating traditional and contemporary styles to deliver rousing ballads, soft love songs, lively dance tunes and haunting airs.

Award-winning musicians in their own right, Caitlín Nic Gabhann & Ciarán Ó Maonaigh are quickly becoming one of the foremost duets in Ireland today. Their music & dance is rooted in the tradition; full of spirit, soul and life. Together on fiddle, concertina and dance, they breathe fire into traditional tunes - not to be missed!

Saturday 23 May, 8pm, €15

Seán Ó Sé and the Turloughmore Céilí Band

as part of Fleadh Nua 2015

Fleadh Nua will honour the legendary singer Seán Ó Sé on this special night. Seán, a native of Bantry, Co. Cork has an instantly recognisable voice and his performance of 'An Poc ar Buille' in the early 1960's established his reputation as a well known singer.
Seán performed with Seán Ó Riada and Ceoltóirí Chualann until Ó Riada's untimely death in 1971. Over the years he has toured and recorded extensively, including a recording with the Turloughmore Céilí Band.

Sunday 24 May, 8pm, €5

‘Maestro’ - the music of Bobby Casey

as part of Fleadh Nua 2015

In 1969 and 1970, Séamus Mac Mathúna recorded the legendary West Clare fiddle player, Bobby Casey, in London. These invaluable recordings are part of the Comhaltas Archive. A CD of many of these recordings has been produced by the Cois na hAbhna Archive and will be launched at Fleadh Nua, when many musicians, including friends who played with Bobby, will perform and pay tribute to one of Clare's greatest musicians.